HIGHLINE 2015 Investment: Control

by Bianca Bartz 1 year ago

In Q1 2015, we made our first batch of HIGHLINE investments and are excited to give a mid-year update on Control, which recently closed their institutional seed round led by Vanedge.

Control is a management platform for the payments industry that lets businesses monitor, measure, and manage online payments from anywhere. The app is payment platform agnostic and securely connects to your payment providers to consolidate transactional data, give you access to real-time revenue reporting, and offers the ability to respond to time-sensitive transaction events from any device.

A Mobile-First Sprint to Disrupt the Payments Space

Kathryn Loewen launched Control in response to an opportunity she recognized with Stripe’s open payment APIs, which she predicted would radically disrupt the payments space. A believer in mobile-first and a true fintech fanatic, she developed her initial business models built around Stripe in mid-2013. In early 2014, she bought the IP and source code for a fledgling Android app that was built with Stripe Connect, and in February 2014, Kathryn officially founded Control.

Kathryn likens Control to Hootsuite — which layered onto the open APIs of social media channels like Facebook and Twitter — and counts Hootsuite’s CEO Ryan Holmes as one of her investors.

A Powerful, Passionate Operating Team

A highly knowledgeable and dedicated entrepreneur, Kathryn brings an extensive educational and professional background in financial technology to her team, which she leads as CEO. She started her career at Citigroup Europe where she developed Citidirect, one of the first online banking systems. When she moved back to Vancouver, her focus was on developing eCommerce solutions for an online gaming company, which involved managing integrations with international payment platforms, and later inspired her MBA Thesis on “Launching Mobile Banking Apps in Emerging Markets.” Learn more about Kathryn in this Q&A.

The team, which now includes over a dozen employees, is well-rounded, with a core group of technical, operations, and product marketing professionals. Control’s COO, Ian Walker, joined the team in April, bringing a broad range of experience from previous roles as an Analyst at Invoke Media, Director of Growth at Dónde in Chicago, and Head of User Engagement at Perch.


In May Control announced it had closed a $1.5 million seed round, and in June shared they had exceeded $10 million in processed volume. To date, the startup has gained over 12,000 users, over 4,000 of which are monthly active users, and over 1,100 are daily users. Control continues to hold the number one spot for “Stripe” in the Google and Apple app stores.

They also recently welcomed Amy Rae (Vanedge Capital), Laurie Wallace (angel investor), and Tony Van Brackle (angel investor) to their Board of Directors.

Bridging the Coasts

“Having the support of HIGHLINE allows us to bridge the divide between the East and West Coast,” Kathryn shared. “We are very interested in the startup scene in Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo as well as in Montreal. Having footing over on the East Coast by way of HIGHLINE gives us the confidence in knowing we have the support we need in these areas. Furthermore, our Toronto HQ gives us access to a growing market in New York and Boston.”

With the seed round now closed and exciting product expansion plans in place, HIGHLINE looks forward to watching Control flourish as an emerging leader in Canadian fintech.

Control in the Media

  • Why Control bet on mobile and Stripe to grow its payments platform (BetaKit)
  • Acquisition makes Control favourite at Cascadia Summit (TechVibes)
  • Get Control of your business with the Hootsuite of mobile payments (TechVibes)
  • 39 of the coolest startups founded by women (Business Insider)

Past HIGHLINE blog posts about Control

kathryn coast quote